- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
- 22 Dec - 28 Dec, 2018
There is something greater and purer than what the mouth utters. Silence illuminates our souls, whispers to our hearts and brings them together. Silence separates us from ourselves makes us sail the firmament of spirit and brings us closer to heaven.”
– Khalil Gibran.
The gurney was pushed across the hall at supersonic speed. I was trying to lie as still as I could but I could feel my body collapsing under the pain. I was visibly trembling as I tried to shut my mind off from the rush of the stimulus. Fawad was at my side holding my hand, running as fast as he could with doctors and nurses. Didn’t know he had it in him. An Olympic sprinter of sorts. The excruciating pain though kept me from voicing my thoughts at that time. I could hear my doctor yelling instructions to prep the OR.
“That’s it Fawad. You can’t go beyond this point. We've got this. Have you signed the papers allowing us to operate?”
I could sense Fawad's fear as he whispered a near silent yes.
“Alright then. Just pray that all goes well.”
With that the nurse gently pried our entwined fingers apart. I turned my head to face Fawad as I was pushed further away from him. Our eyes met. Both filled with fear and tears.
The nine months were almost over when I woke up one morning in intense pain. I knew it was time. I was scheduled for a C-section the coming weekend but Nature knows when it’s time regardless of whether we're ready or not. I had a strong feeling of deja vu, it felt like the time with Noor. I closed my eyes trying not to think about it. I shook Fawad and let him wake well enough up before I told him I was in labor. For a while I don’t think he knew what I was saying. When it finally sunk in he leapt out of bed and began to get things together for us to leave for the hospital. There was a mixture of excitement and tension but whatever we felt or how ever we thought this might pan out we had to do this.
We got to the hospital soon enough but my body was on over drive and my contractions were barely 2 minutes apart. The doctor conducted the primary examination and she even debated whether we should go with a normal delivery keeping in mind how advanced my labor was. But then sensing my fear she ruled it out.
She knew I couldn't relive the memories of going into labor, suffering that pain and losing the battle.
The doors of the theatre swung open and I was quickly transferred into the sterile environment of the operating room. Without losing a beat the attendants placed me on the table and began taking my vitals.
An anaesthetist showed out of nowhere and put an injection into my drip.
I could feel my body relaxing immediately. The drugs numbed the pain and suddenly I became very aware of my surroundings. It really looked like what we’ve seen countless times in movies and on TV. Clean and sterile.
I looked at my doctor. She was looking at me with such care and concern. I became a little worried for my child's health. Was something wrong? Why is she looking so sympathetic? But I couldn't brood over that thought too long. I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
I faded into a deep sleep. I didn't know of anything around me. I could hear faint sounds and voices but my eyes refused to open. I saw Fawad. My sweet and kind and loving husband. There were times that I wanted to kill this man but then there were times that I wanted to make all his pain go away. I forgave him for all the times he hurt me. For all the times he blamed me for his worries. I looked at him with the same purity and innocence as I had looked at him when I first fell in love with him. I saw my parents by my side, looking happy and proud of me.
I felt happy.
I had my baby. Ibrahim. Fawad wanted to call him Ibrahim if it was a boy and Noor Ain if it was a girl.
The surgery went well and both mother and baby were fine or so they thought. I was shifted into my room to rest till I woke up. But I never woke up. Hours fell into days and days into weeks.
The doctor examined me several hours initially before she broke the news to us. She called the family into her office to explain the situation. Ibrahim was left in the care of a nurse. He was a healthy baby, almost 9 lbs at birth and beautiful too. He had inherited all our qualities. My hazel, brown eyes, my dimples and Fawad’s perfect nose and square jaw. His eyes were big with lustrous lashes. My baby was a picture child. Perfectly made.
But I decided to remain asleep throughout this immense joy that my family was experiencing. From my own point of view I really felt like I was sleeping, still under the effect of the drugs. I didn’t even know anything was wrong.
“Saima is physically alright. We can’t understand why she isn’t waking up. Her vitals are good and she is breathing on her own. The influence of the anaesthesia has also worn off, or at least it should have. There is significant brain activity to suggest that she is thinking. There is definite cognitive activity and she can also sense pain.”
Everyone was silent. In shock. My mom began to cry. When no one responded the doctor continued.
“She will wake up. She just needs more time. Saima is emotionally strong and also physically healthy. It’s only a matter of a few days. You need to talk to her and tell her she needs to wake up. It’s believed that coma patients hear us and sense our presence. Treat her as you would if she was awake. Continue giving her time and attention. Let Ibrahim lie on her. She will wake up. Pray for her.”
With that she left my family alone to figure this out.
I had fallen into a deep coma and it would be days, weeks and months before I would wake up.